The fifth gripping and beautifully written entry in A. D. Scott’s mystery series finds star journalist John McAllister caught up in the razor-gang warfare of 1950s Glasgow.
A. D. Scott’s extraordinary mystery novels have been called “beautifully written and atmospheric” (New York Times bestselling author Rhys Bowen), “a visit with an old friend in front of a fireplace” (Suspense Magazine), and “must-reads” (Booklist).
John McAllister has come to a crossroads, torn between the stability of his life in the Highlands and the thrill of working as a renowned journalist in Glasgow at a national daily newspaper. Can he accept that this exciting new phase is over? That it is time to settle down?
Before he knows it, McAllister is in the midst of a fast-paced hunt for his good friend Jimmy McPhee, who is involved in a blood feud with a murderous razor gang. With a fiercely ambitious young crime reporter, he tracks down Jimmy, but the gang finds them. Only when another violent clash breaks out do they have the chance to escape. Soon McAllister finds himself in danger of losing everything he holds dear—his mother, his fiancée, his friends, his integrity, and his life.
And Joanne Ross, recovering from horrific injuries, senses McAllister’s ambivalence about their forthcoming marriage, and she knows she can only wait for him to return to her.
From the wilderness of the Highlands to the desolation of Glasgow’s slums, book five in Scott’s mystery series is a portrait of extremes: between city and glen; between the rule of law and the laws of the streets; between safe, enduring love and unreasoning passion.
Glasgow gangster Gerry Dochery is threatening the life of Jimmy McPhee, a childhood friend of newspaper editor John McAllister, in Scott's talky fifth novel set in the 1950s Scottish Highlands (after 2013's North Sea Requiem). McAllister, who has deep roots in Glasgow, also knew Dochery as a boy, but neither Dochery nor McPhee is easy to find. In his search, McAllister renews contacts at the Glasgow newspaper where he once worked, and meets Mary Ballantyne, a hotshot reporter interested in his activities because of their possible connections with her beat. The alluring woman causes McAllister to ponder his glamorous past as an international correspondent and his staid and complicated future involving his impending wedding, his fianc e in recovery from an assault, and his uneasy position as a prospective stepfather. Implausible developments, the lack of crucial details early enough in the book, and a shortage of action weaken the narrative.